Using art as a channel to express one’s political opinion is never outdated. This way of expression has been touching the artists’ and their aesthetes’ lives for a long time. If someone do the same thing with custom painting kits, the real question revolves around the best way to make political art, not just moving, but mobilizing for the world.
The 6 rules of thumb below are the product of thorough research of the most influential political arts in history:
- Go outside the art world
Political art exhibitions inside the common art worlds such as museums, galleries, etc., are nothing but typical art exhibitions that attract those interested in them. However, displaying one’s political arts in an area where literally anyone with a different stance and opinion may see is an absolute key.
The best example for this would be from Thomas Hirschhorn, a Swiss artist who is renowned for his capability to transform white cube spaces into representations of environmental or global issues.
- Get to know your own community
Being much more knowledgeable about your community is no doubt beneficial for you and for the people living in it. This is proven by Tania Bruguera, a Cuban artist who coined the term “behavior art,” which refers to oppressive power and control visible consequences.
The artist immersed herself in the world of New York’s immigrants, which pushed her to commence the Immigrant Movement International (IMI Corona), aiming to provide the immigrants’ community free education. Aside from that, the community space serves as a headquarters for all the immigrant members and activists.
- Consider the street as your stage
Political arts on New York streets helped a certain community voice out their dissatisfaction with the services given to them way back in the 1980s. However, artists are innovative enough to go beyond the usual graffiti art on walls, for they have also invented street artworks that surely make people think of the existing social issues.
One of the best street artworks that fall under this is the Conflict Kitchen, created by Dawn Weleski and Jon Rubin. This colorfully designed take-out restaurant serves dishes from countries Iran, Afghanistan, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and other US countries.
- Use social media as your soapbox
Thanks to social media, activists have got free and easy access to audiences of different races and nationalities. Any SNS platform has the power to make political artwork go viral and reach its targeted audiences right there and then.
Pussy Riot has caught global attention since its five members performed inside the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. Their footage went viral on the Internet, and this garnered different opinions and views from netizens.
- Small ideas matter
It’s never easy to change the world. Thus, thinking of a small idea still does matter. Who would have thought that a small-scale project involving cats would fully change the living condition of a certain colony that lived in Saint Petersburg’s basement.
Eirk van Lieshout, a Dutch artist, was the reason behind all of this. He changed the colony’s environment by decorating their walls and giving them furniture. He suggested that some communities below the surface of a particular culture might be in need.
- Continue that hope through your art
Every political artist’s dream is to ignite people’s dormant ideas and awareness about the issues they have been living with. But who knows, especially with the existence of social media, that even a simple painting of self portraits can already stir and awaken thousands or millions of minds. So, don’t stop hoping, creating, and innovating.
Creating political art can be quite a challenge but not an impossible feat. However, it would require you to take a closer look at the environment, communities, and your personal beliefs to properly portray it in any art medium.